Lung Cancer

By: Michelle Adams


Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. It is a leading cause of Cancer death in men and women in the United States. It is estimated that 158,040 (86,380 men and 71,660 women) deaths from this disease will occur this year. The one-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least one year after the cancer is found. People with lung cancer have a one-year survival rate of 44% and a five-year survival rate of only 17%.


The doctor and the patient plan a treatment based on many factors such as your overall health, the type and stage of your cancer, and your preferences. Treatment options typically include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or targeted drug therapy. In some cases the patient will choose not to undergo treatment, because the patient may feel that the side effects of the treatment will outweigh the potential benefits. If the patient chooses a surgery treatment the surgeon removes the Lung Cancer and a margin of healthy tissue. In chemotherapy the doctors will use drugs to kill the cancer cells either through a vein in your arm or orally. Chemotherapy is often used after surgery to kill any leftover cancer cells or it might be used before surgery to shrink the cancer cells and make them easier to remove. In radiation the doctors use high-powered energy beams from X-rays or Protons to kill cancer cells. Radiation can be directed at the lung cancer from outside the body or it can be put inside needles, seeds, or catheters and placed inside the body near the cancer. Targeted drug therapy is a newer treatment that works by targeting specific abnormalities in cancer cells.


Lung cancer also occurs in people who haven't smoked and in those who haven't had lots exposure to secondhand smoke. In these cases, there may be no clear cause of Lung Cancer. Many symptoms of Lung Cancer are a cough that doesn't go away, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, losing weight without trying, bone pain, and headaches.

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